Nature Never Disappoints
|My "Nectar Garden" has been badly overgrown for years.
Yet such a tangle of plants and weeds provides habitat for numerous insects.
Just now, my garden's Matilija Poppies are taking turns bursting into flower.
|While admiring one, I noticed a tiny insect perched on a petal.|
|This was the first time I'd found a baby mantid in my garden.|
|This tiny baby rocked back and forth and scampered just like a full-sized adult!|
|In late summer, adult mantids show up to lay their eggs, hunt for food.|
|Two empty mantid egg pods found in my garden.
The pods contain hundereds of baby mantids identical to adults.
|If hundreds are born, why aren't more seen in my garden?|
|The answer is numerous resident spiders as well as insect-eating birds.|
|Unable to get close, clear photos, I stepped away
and left the tiny mantid to continue its hunt for food.
|Due to their size, predatory nature, adult mantids are a threat to hummingbirds.|
|Adult Mantids found in my garden are caught and released at sites rich in insects.|
|A couple days after finding the first baby mantid, found this fellow floating -
seemingly lifeless - in a pet waterbowl on my back patio. But notice it's eye?
|I thought it was dead; wanted to photograph it later. However, after returning
from my walk, discovered the "drowned" mantid upright and looking at me.
|I immediately released it into a warm place in my garden.|
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